My First Blogging Conference | Blogfest15

I had a really exciting day on Saturday. If you were on social media over the weekend you probably saw about #Blogfest15 – my first blogging conference. I had wanted to attend but for one reason and another (kids, work etc) I just hadn’t got a ticket. My work shift changed on Saturday and the lovely people at Arla Big Milk had got in touch to offer to sponsor me to go, so I jumped at the chance to attend.

I have seen these types of things across the bloggersphere for the few years I’ve been blogging, but never been brave enough to go. I’ve been to a few blogger events and product launches but thought that this would be very different. It wasn’t! I had a great time. Yes, some of the time I was wondering around on my own (a lot of people are in blogger ‘groups’ and know each other well – the introvert in me finds it hard to go up to a group of people that are already chatting and join in. I found a few new people to talk to though and chatted to some bloggers that I do know). It didn’t make it awkward – a lot of others were in the same boat and hey, I enjoy my own company (loser much)?

I did chat to quite a few PRs and people that write on a company blog (they were obviously people by themself too), and their companies asked them to go to mingle, get ideas and meet new bloggers. To me, it just showed how much of an influence parent bloggers have and how ready brands are to work with us.

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I enjoyed visiting the brand stalls too as they are up for chatting and it’s fun to learn about new products and campaigns. I use to work for Unilever so I was chatting to that team for a while, as they are at the office in Surrey that I was based in, and it was fun finding out who is still there that I knew when I was there – small world.

I of course headed over the Arla Big Milk stand and even did a little piece to camera (eeek) about my children’s firsts, for their new campaign. I found weaning was the most memorable for me as it was so funny – I loved seeing my children’s reactions to new foods and their facial expressions.

could I be any more awkward?!
Of course the workshops and talks were the main reason for attending and I got a lot out of them. The sessions I attended were:

  • Photography Masterclass with Hayley from Shutterflies Photography
  • Blogging to Vlogging with Mike Figgis
  • How to Win at Brand Relationships with Carries Longton, Tara Cain, Julia Dobson and Rebecca Burchnall

The main things I took away were:

  • make sure pictures have a ‘pin it’ badge on them to make it easier for your readers to save your post on Pinterest
  • Use lightroom to edit pictures
  • Get to know your home / photographing environment. I often think if I’m taking food photos that I need to be in the kitchen when really the best light in the day tends to be in my sons room as it is south easterly facing. No one needs to know it was taken in his room though!
  • best angles for food photography are from above or 45° and adding a human element in food photography really helps to bring the picture to life – I have never done this and am certainly going to try it!
  • if you are focusing in your blog post about a certain thing, such as a cake topping, make sure your photos reflect that and show the topping as much as possible
  • clouds are better than sunshine
  • you can get a microphone that attaches to your iphone to make sound better for vlogging
  • invest in a ring light – really flattering for vlogs and photograhy
  • show and explain to a brand how creative you can be and how you can bring a new lease of life to the project – have fun with it
  • don’t say yes to everything – I really need to work on this!
  • update my media pack and add rough costings so noone’s time is wasted
  • use pictures on your social media that you don’t see somewhere else, use Instagram as a bit of a preview and use different pictures on Facebook and Twitter

The guest speakers and panellists were on point – so funny, inspiring, entertaining and relatable. We heard from Bryony Gordon, Margaret Atwood, Meera Syal, Bridget Christie, Polly Vernon, Catherine Mann, Sabdi Toksvig, David Baddies (hilarious), Val McDermid, Fi Glover, Shappi Khorsandi, Abby Boid, Lucy Cavendish and Robert Crampton. Even Lionel Shriver was there for the blogging awards – I was mega impressed! It was brilliant to be with such inspiring women and men and learn from them.

I had such a great day and as cheesy as it sounds, came away feeling super inspired and motivated; ready to kick ass in the blogging world!

Did you attend Blogfest? Have you been to a blogger conference before – what did you think?

Rebecca x

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